The Nigerian Army has stated that it can not disclose the identities of its officers who were at the scene of the Lekki shootings.
This disclosure was made by the acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations and 81 Division’s spokesperson, Major Osoba Olaniyi, during an interview with The Punch, where he relieved why the force has and will continue to be discreet about the information of its officers present at the Lekki tollgate.
According to him, it is unprofessional and against the operational security policy of the Nigerian Army to name the soldiers who were in action on that day.
“It is against operational security. We don’t give that. It is against the policy of operational security. There is no problem here. The picture some people paint, as if we are fighting with the state government, is wrong,” the newspaper quoted him to have said.
Major Olaniyi also sounded out that the force will decline the invitation to appear before any enquiry panel looking into the shootings in the state unless it comes directly from the Lagos state government.
He added: “If we receive a letter from the state, we will go. Are we not under civil authorities? Are we not part of Nigerians? Have you forgotten that we did not go there (Lekki tollgate) on our own?
“It is not the duty of the members of the panel to tell us that. If the state wants the (81) Division to come, they will write and we will oblige. See, if they have written to the division, it is our duty to go. It is not for them to go through the media as if we are scared of coming.
“It is the state government that constituted that panel of inquiry. So if anybody needs to get in touch with us to come, it is still the state and not members of the panel.” he added.
On October 20, 2020, some young Nigerians who came out in their numbers to protest against police brutality in the country met their untimely death as military officers opened fire on them at the Lekki toll gate.
The incident had triggered different reactions, within and outside the country, as the military and the federal government were accused of human rights abuse. Calls have also been made to reveal the identities of soldier believed to have perpetrated the violent act.
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